Artwork by Edward Reed
I am a retired professional engineer and have comparatively recently taken up art again. From childhood I have been interested in art and have just found a watercolour I did at age 10, and think it shows some understanding of the effects of light on a subject.
At school I ‘did’ art but completely opted out after my English/Art teacher aggressively criticised something I was working on. He was a very eminent artist in his own right, so I suppose I deserved his condemnation, but it turned me off art completely.
It was during my professional life designing special purpose machinery, where I made use of a limited illustration skill by drawing ideas for the equipment. But only when I retired did my urge to restart art happen with any force, and I started again with watercolour pictures. I have painted some oil works but am not particularly comfortable yet with that medium, but I am submitting one of those oils for this competition.
I find that this urge is quite strong to create paintings but am strongly inhibited by my limitations, but I stick at it hoping to improve both over time and from the number of attempts, and this is why I am entering this competition, to learn to be able to paint convincingly and effectively.
My main challenge, I think, is to be able to paint portraiture with something like the skill of the old masters, and to be able to confidently present others with acceptable paintings for their enjoyment and my satisfaction.
My experience with the Drawing Academy has been excellent, it has taught me many specific skills as well as giving a well balanced understanding of the human body and through that I can now understand how to proportion the drawing of an individual’s stature in whatever action they are engaged in. I have cherished the time spent in going through the video lessons which are lucid and very helpful.
One could paint in the present acceptable methods but that is not art, it is actually a disgraceful waste of time and materials and will speedily be disregarded and the paintings disposed of with other refuse. But, as I have stated, my wish is to be able to paint effectively in the vein of the old masters and I know of nowhere else that presents such valuable training, so I would hope my application is successful and I at least will have an opportunity to achieve that aim.
The last question is why should people vote for me. What a question, they don’t know me, I might be very unlikeable in person or obnoxious to them in some other way. People should vote for me only if they think my entry shows that I have some potential to be an accomplished artist so that the training available in the course would not be wasted.